I started using the Dexcom G6 in June, and have a growing collection of the plastic applicators. I asked their tech support today (via chat) if they have a recycling program, and got a canned response that didn’t really make sense. I’m doubtful I can put them in my recycling bin, but I also don’t really want to put them in the trash. Does anyone know of an alternative? I’m thinking of getting some gorilla glue and creating an artificial tree for the holidays.

@Jennifer1. Welcome to TuDiabetes.

Recycling is a local issue about the type of material accepted. The Dexcom G6 inserter is a multi-material device and in most communities, would need to be separated into its component materials. For example, the metal pieces - are they ferrous or non-ferrous? What types of plastics are involved.

Sad to say, it is either make your tree (the orange buttons stand out) or chuck them is my best analysis.

If you make the tree, may I suggest hot glue instead of gorilla glue. It may be easier to work with.


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You can’t recycle them because the insertion needle is captured in the device. So it is a biohazard. I think it is incredibly wasteful and I’ve complained but to no avail.

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@Timothy, do you just toss yours in regular domestic rubbish or to send them out a medical waste with special processing?

I have heard of jurisdictions wanting all diabetic trash, etc treated the same as medical waste from physcian’s office, special haulers, by the pound fees, expensive containers, etc. Then other jurisdictions, using Amer. with Disabilities Act authority, have diabetic waste treated like regular home garbage with the request it be in milk, detergent or similar screw top jugs.

Who is correct and who is wrong. Are diabetics being abused in some jurisdictions for having to pay to have their diabetic waste materials hauled off by EXPENSIVE medical waste companies or are other jurisdictions giving diabetics their true due by allowing diabetic waste in domestic garbage?

Wasteful, ingenious, or …

Thoughts any and all…

Because the needle is retracted into the device, my understanding is that you can just pitch it in the trash.

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I agree with you. However, I know Washington state has draconian laws under the guise of environmental friendliness & OSHA style worker protection. I learned about this from a diabetic friend traveling to Seatle. He asked a restaurant to dispose of a pen needle and was told they could not dispose of medical waste.

My county in WA has a shortage of free sharps disposal sites. I have to pay the pharmacy to drop off my sharps bucket. We have transfer stations that will take sorted recycling drop offs, and I have tried to convince the powers that be to put a sharps disposal facility there as a public resource. They have been ignoring my requests for years.

That said, I am comfortable that our landfill facility in WA (Roosevelt Regional Landfill, out in the desert) has a century or more of capacity for expansion, and is well designed to prevent contaminants from escaping to harm the environment. For that reason I have some concerns about current recycling dogma. I’m concerned that the onus is not placed on the manufacturers and shippers to reduce waste, instead we are all hectored to send all our unsorted recycling to SE Asia. And the public has no clue which plastic can or can’t be recycled, so the unsorted plastics end up creating a big problem with the recycling waste stream.

Wouldn’t it be better long term to seal that plastic in a modern landfill, or better yet force the manufacturers to use a material that actually does get recycled such as aluminum?

My endo once told me to throw diabetes supplies in the trash because all garbage in my area is incinerated.


@John58, according to some interpretations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is a violation of the ADA to force protected persons to ‘pay extra’ for or treat differently from (separating diabetic trash from other trash), the general population. If your next door neighbor does not need to segregate their trash, you should not be required to do anything differently.

The manner a jurisdiction manages garbage should be the same for all residents. Those with protected conditions should not be forced to do things differently is my point. Where I live, the jurisdiction is divided into public & several private waste haulers. Here, diabetic (or other residential medical waste like home IV treatment) is treated like anything else. It goes in the can and is picked up weekly.

Why are we being forced to submit and not stand up for our protections under Federal Law?

Just thinking out loud.

The device is an approved medical waste device. For disposal in the trash in the US.
That being said I just hate throwing that big thing away every 10 days. It’s a horrible waste. Recyclers will not take them so there is no other option. I was thinking I could turn them into computer mice and give them away. But it would be a project


Haha…hot glue it will be. Thanks.

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Definite yes to manufacturers using a material that actually gets recycled.


Disposal depends on where you live. I put all my needles etc. in a sturdy container, hard plastic. Mark sharps with marker and dispose. Nancy50

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I just switched from G5 to G6 reluctantly, and one of the reasons I didn’t want to switch was the bulk and waste of the inserter. It’s pretty horrifying. Also if I am ever able to travel again, a huge pain to pack multiples of, relative to the G5.

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I’ve started keeping the applicators and intend to try drilling out white buttons and see if I can deconstruct applicators sufficiently to separate the needle.

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